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I Made Your Clothes - Fashion Revolution Week

April 18, 2016

I Made Your Clothes - Fashion Revolution Week

The collapse of Rana Plaza, and the hundreds of deaths it brought about, has been presented to the world as exposing the ruthlessness of third world manufacturers, and the lack of conscience on the part of their big label customers—the brands with which we are all familiar.

But it also reveals something deeper, something as structurally flawed as the building itself that collapsed and killed people.

It shows us that the large-scale industrial model of garment production cannot behave in any other manner than by exploiting the weakest links in its supply chain.  That primarily means the workers.  Large scale garment production is enormously expensive, top heavy, and wasteful.  So where does the big money come from?

The ones who pay for the corporate jet can be found in the rubble of Rana Plaza.

Shari and I know from our own experience that garment production is a low margin business.

Big profits in a low margin industry can only come from a few sources, wages being the first choice of any large scale manufacturer.

So we read about factories in Cambodia where the workers are so underpaid that they are forced to forage for food at the end of their twelve hour workday.

Every day Mehera Shaw receives inquiries for high volume production, which we no longer respond to.  I have made a bitter joke about them:  “They won’t be satisfied that they’re getting a good price unless they are sure our workers are almost starving.”

No, this is not a business where you can get rich with a clear conscience.  You can make a decent living, but not to get rich.  You can have a decent standard of living, take care of your kids, but you won’t get rich.

I am old enough to remember when there were small scale garment manufacturers in the United States, mostly family owned establishments, often tucked into older residential neighborhoods, employing 30-50 people.  Sometimes they were larger, but we’re not talking industrial scale.  And they made clothes for various labels, in humane, dignified conditions, most of the employees sticking around until retirement, usually living in the same neighborhood and attending the same churches as their employers.  The employers made a decent income, but they weren’t of a separate, higher, social class.

If you’re familiar with Mehera Shaw, then you know that this is the model that has adopted us.  I don’t say that we have adopted it, because the human reality we encountered right off the bat told us what was required of us.   We saw hard working, honest, conscientious individuals, with kids in school, with elderly parents to care for.  People we respected and liked. 

The prevailing view that garment production on a massive, industrial scale is the only thing that makes sense, simply makes no sense.  True, the massive, industrial scale has been with us for a long time, and it has driven the family-run model almost out of existence, and it is the only thing most of us are now familiar with.  But to regard it as the only realistic possibility is deluded.  It is, in fact, an aberration.  The fact that it is prevalent means that we are looking at a prevalent aberration.  It has killed people, not only in Rana Plaza, but earlier, often, throughout its history, and it will do so again.  It cannot do otherwise.  This is its structure, its nature.

The people who come to work with us are people who are looking for a different way. 

I say to Shari, “We’re looking for the flowers that come up through the cracks in the pavement.”

There is a different way.  It’s nothing new.  Our common humanity points to it. 

How did it happen that so many of us have forgotten?




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Fit/Sizing/Care
FIT

Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.

 

SIZING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XS/ 36

S/ 38

M/40

L/ 42

XL/44

 

 

chest

35.5 inches/ 90 cm

37.5 inches/95 cm

39.5 inches/ 100 cm

41.5 inches/ 105 cm

44.5 inches. 113 cm

4cm extra from body

waist

26 inches/ 66 cm

28 inches/ 71 cm

30 inches/ 76 cm

32 inches/ 81 cm

35 inches/ 89 cm

fitted

 

low waist

28 inches/71 cm

30 inches/76 cm

32 inches/ 81 cm

34 inches/ 86 cm

37 inches/ 94 cm

fitted

 

hip

37 inches/ 94 cm

39 inches/ 99 cm

41 inches/ 104 cm

43 inches/ 109 cm

46 inches/ 1

4cm extra from body

 

 

WASHCARE

All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

 

 

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